Remembering & Forgetting Studies

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  • Created on: 12-05-15 10:45

Capacity of Sensory Memory

SPERLING & THE SENSORY MEMORY'S CAPACITY

  • used a tachisoscope to show a visual array of 12 letters for 50 milliseconds

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  • participants were asked to recall
  • study conducted previously but participants could only recall a max of 4 of the 12 items
  • Sperling states that this was because the information faded
  • played a high, medium or low tone after showing the visual array
  • indicated whether the top, middle or bottom line should be recalled
  • an image of the line of letters was available to be 'read off' & the letters of the line recalled

SHOWS THAT A LARGE AMOUNT OF SENSROY INFORMATION CAN BE STORED IN THE SENSORY MEMORY, BUT THAT THIS INFORMATION FADES RAPIDLY - 1/4 SECONDS.

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Capacity of the short-term memory

GLANZER & CUNITZ & THE WORD LIST

  • participants asked to recall a list of words 
  • two groups

Group 1. immediately

Group 2. after distracter task of counting backwards in 3s for 30 seconds

  • the group that recalled immediately showed both the primacy (start of list) and recency effect (end of list)
  • the group that recalled after a distracter task showed only the primacy effect (start of list)
  • concluded that the distractor task took up the limited capacity of the short-term memory so that the recency effect could not be shown
  • the primacy effect was not affected

SHOWS SEPARATE MEMORY STORES; THE SHORT-TERM MEMORY HAS A LIMITED CAPACITY

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Separate Memory Stores (Multi-Store Model)

HM & THE MEMORY LOSS

  • patient who suffered severe memory loss after brain surgery
  • short-term memory was unaffected
  • he could not transfer info into his long-term memory
  • could remember people from long ago
  • but could not remember people he had just met

SHOWED THE SURGERY AFFECTED HIS LONG-TERM MEMORY WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY FINE. HAD NO EFFECT ON HIS SHORT-TERM, EVIDENCING SEPARATE MEMORY STORES.

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Sub-Components of the Phonological Store

PAULESU ET AL. & THE PET SCANNER

  • studied the phonlogical store
  • some participants asked to memorise a series of letters
  • some participants asked to rehearse the sounds of letters in their heads
  • monitored the flow of blood in their brains using a PET scanner
  • the pattern of blood flow for each task was different
  • memorisation of letters caused increase blood flow in one particular area of the brain
  • sound rehearsal increased blood flow in Broca's area

SHOWS THAT THE PHONOLOGICAL STORE HAS TWO COMPONENTS - ONE TO STORE SOUND (THE PRIMARY ACOUSTIC STORE) AND ONE INVOLVING MENTAL REHEARSAL (THE ATRICULATORY LOOP)

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Separate Phonological Store and Visuospatial Scrat

LOGIE ET AL. & THE COMPUTER GAMES

  • asked participants to play a computer game
  • this involved both manual responses
  • and processing verbal information
  • he asked them to either carry out:

1. a distracter task for the visuospatial component of the working memory model - the visuospatial scratch pad - which impaired performance of the manual responses

2. or a distracter task or the verbal memory component of the working memory model - the phonological store - which impaired verbal memory performance

SHOWS SEPARATE VISUOSPATIAL SCRATCH PAD AND PHONOLOGICAL LOOP; SHOWS THE LIMITED CAPACITY OF THESE (THEY CAN ONLY COPE WITH A CERTIAN AMOUNT OF INFO PROCESSING)

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Separate Components of the Working Memory Model

ROBBINS ET AL. & THE CHESS PIECES

  • asked 20 men to memorise the position of chess pieces on a chess board
  • and then to recreate the positions on a new board
  • 4 conditions

1. Whilst repeating the word ' the' over and over in their heads, aiming to suppress the articulatory loop

2. Whilst pressing numbers on a calculator with a non-preferred hand, aiming to suppress the visuospatial scratch pad

3. Whilst saying random letters outloud in time with a beat, aiming to suppress the central executive

4. Whilst completing no distracter task (the control group)

Those in condition 1 showed similar results to the control group, showing the articulatory loop was not needed for this task. 

Those performance of participants in condition 2 and 3 was badly affected, showing both were needed for the task.

SHOWS SEPARATE COMPONENTS OF WORKING MEMORY; SHOWS THE LIMITED CAPACITY OF THE VISUOSPATIAL SCRATCH PAD; SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CENTRAL EXECUTIVE

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Levels of Processing

CRAIK & TULVING AND THE QUESTIONS

  • participants shown 60 words, one at a time
  • asked to answer 1 of 3 different questions about each word
  • asked to pick the words from a list of 180 after

1. Is the word upper or lower case? (structural)

2. What does the word sound like? (phonological)

3. What is the meaning of the word? (semantic)

When asked question 1, 17% of words could be recalled

When asked question 2, 37% of words could be recalled

When asked question 3, 65% of words could be recalled

SHOWS THE TYPE OF INFORMATION PROCESSING THAT TAKES PLACE WHEN INFORMATION IS ENCONDED AFFECTS THE ABILITY TO RECALL THAT INFORMATION.

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Episodic and Semantic Memory

TULVING & THE GOLD INJECTION

  • injected himself with radioactive gold
  • thought about episodic memories
  • thought about semantic memories 
  • used scanners to monitor the flow of blood in his brain 
  • episodic memories produced increased blood flow in the front of the brain
  • semantic memories produced increased blood flow in the back of the brain

SHOWS THAT EPISODIC MEMORY AND SEMANTIC MEMORY ARE LOCATED IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE BRAIN

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Separation of Procedural and Episodic Memory

CORKIN & HM

  • HM had amnesia
  • could not remember new information
  • Corking have him a task of following a curvy line on a rotating disc
  • with practice, his performance at the task was good
  • he was unable to remember the performance
  • but when tested again could peform just as well
  • shows he was able to retain procedural memory
  • but unable to retain episodic memory

SHOWS THAT PROCEDURAL AND EPISODIC KNOWLEDGE INVOLVES DIFFERENT MEMORY SYSTEMS.

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Decay Theory of Forgetting (Refuting)

WAUGH & NORMAN AND THE DIGITS

  • asked participants to listen to a list of 16 digits

2 conditions:

1. one digit read per second

2. four digits read per second

  • asked participants to recall the digits
  • they hypothesised that people in group 1 would remember less as more time would have passed before retrieval
  • there was no difference in the amount of words that could be retrieved

REFUTES DECAY BY SHOWING THAT TIME ALONE CANNOT AFFECT THE NUMBER OF DIGITS REMEMBERED

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Interference Theory of Forgetting (Supportive

JENKINS & DALLENBACH & THE SYLLABLES

  • participants leared a list of 10 nonsense syllables
  • asked them to recall them at several points after learning
  • participants placed in 2 conditons

1. awake, carrying out normal daily activities

2. asleep, doing nothing at all

  • recall was much greater in condition 2, when the participants were not doing any other activity 

SUPPORTS RETROACTIVE INTERFERENCE AS THE DAILY ACTIVITES AFFECTED THE RECALL OF THE SYLLABLES; REFUTES DECAY AS THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO DIFFERENCE IN RECALL RATES IF DECAY WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR FORGETTING

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Comparison of Decay and Interference

BADDELEY & HITCH AND THE RUGBY PLAYERS

  • asked players to recall the names of teams they had played in the season
  • looked at the amount of intervening games (interference)
  • as well as the amount of time since the games (decay)
  • findings showed that the recall of team names was higher when there were less intervening games
  • they also showed that the number of time that had passed since the games were played had no affect on recall

SHOWS THAT INTERFERENCE AFFECTS FORGETTING, NOT DECAY.

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Interference Theory of Forgetting (Supportive)

SCHMIDT ET AL. & THE NEIGHBOURHOODS

  • group of participants who all grew up in the same neighbourhood
  • some had moved house
  • shows them a map of the neighbourhood
  • asked them all to recall the names of streets
  • hypothesised that those who moved house would not be able to recall as many street names as they would have learnt the street names of their new neigbourhood
  • this would be a form of interference
  • participants who had moved neighbourhoods recalled less street names on average than participants who had not moved neigbourhoods

SHOWS THAT RETROACTIVE INTERFERENCE AFFECTS REMEMBERING.

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Retrieval Failure Explanation of Forgetting (Suppo

GODDEN & BADDELEY & THE DIVERS

  • Gave divers a list of 40 unrelated words to remember
  • 2 conditions

1. on dry land

2. under water

  • asked participants to recall the list of words either in the same condition or the alternative
  • participants could recall more words when in the same condition that the words were learnt in

SHOWS THAT ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXT IS IMPORTANT FOR REMEBERING, SUPPORTING RETRIEVAL FAILURE

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Cues

TULVING & PEARLSTONE AND THE CATEGORIES

  • gave participants 48 words to remember
  • organised the words into 12 categories
  • the categories each had a heading
  • and contained 4 words
  • participants asked to recall, being told the heading would not be asked for
  • 2 CONDITIONS

1. Heading given upon retrieval

2. Free recall with no headings given

  • 40% of words were recalled in the free recall condition
  • 60% of words were recalled when the headings were given

THE HEADINGS ACTED AS CUES, SHOWING THAT A LACK OF CUES CAUSES RETRIEVAL FAILURE.

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Retrieval Failure Explanation of Forgetting (Suppo

BOWER ET AL. & THE MINERALS

  • showed participants a list of minerals
  • TWO CONDITIONS

1. Organised into a meaningful hierarchy

2. Organised in a non-meaningful way

  • participants were asked to recall
  • recall levels were at 65% when minerals were organised in a meaningful way
  • recall levels were at 19% percent when minerals were organised in a non-meaningful way

SHOWS THAT MEANINGFUL ORGANISATION ACTS AS A RETRIEVAL CUE, SUPPORTING RETRIEVAL FAILURE.

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Lack of Consolidation Explanation of Forgetting (S

DRACHMAN & SAHAKIAN & THE DRUG

  • participants given a list of words to learn
  • completed a distracter task for 60 seconds after learning
  • 2 conditions

1. Acetylcholine-blocking drug given

2. No drug given

  • participants given no drug could recall around twice as many words as participants given the acetylcholine-blocking drug

SHOWS THAT NEUROTRANSMITTERS ARE INVOLVED IN CONSOLIDATION; SHOWS THIS PROCESS CAN BE CHEMICALLY DISRUPTED; SUPPORTS LACK OF CONSOLIDATION AS AN EXPLANATION OF FORGETTING.

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Lack of Consolidation Explanation of Forgetting (S

YARNELL & LYNCH & THE FOOTBALLERS

  • used footballers who had been concussed during a game
  • when they came round, asked them to recall details of the game
  • did so immediately, after 3 minutes and then after 20 minutes
  • when asked immediately, the footballers would recall accurate information
  • when asked at 3 and 20 minutes, details could not be recalled
  • this showed that the info had been taken in
  • but that the blow to the head had disrupted the consolidation process

SUPPORTS LACK OF CONSOLIDATION AS A THEORY OF FORGETTING

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Repression

LEVINGER & CLARK & THE SAD WORDS

  • gave participants a list of negative words
  • and a list of neutral words
  • asked them to attach words to each of them
  • the associated words were then asked to be recalled later
  • fewer words that had been associated with negative words could be recalled

SHOWS THAT NEGATIVE WORDS OR THOUGHTS ARE REPRESSED

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Repression

WILLIAMS & THE RAPE VICTIMS 

  • victims of childhood sexual abuse were interviewed
  • the crimes had been recorded by their hospitals
  • they were asked about their sexual histories
  • 38% could recall that they had been abused but could not recall the specific episode that had been recorded
  • Williams stated that memories of these events had been repressed

SUPPORTS REPRESSION THEORY OF FORGETTING

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Repression

GROOME & SOURETI AND THE POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

  • children who had been involved in the Athens earthquake were interviewed
  • the children lived in varying distances from the epicentre of the earthquake
  • PTSD and raised anxiety levels were seen in children who lived closer to the epicentre of the earthquake compared to those who lived further
  • Groome & Soureti stated that this was due to the thoughts of the frightening situations which the had repressed

SHOWS THAT REPRESSION OF MEMORIES OCCURS

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